New pub from the Frost lab! TauLUM: An in vivo reporter of tau-tau interaction

In work led by Dr. Simon Levy, we have developed a new Drosophila tool for quantifying tau-tau interaction in real time in the brain of a living organism. This split-luciferase-based model, which we term "tauLUM," allows users to quantify tau multimerization at individual time points or longitudinally in adult, living flies housed in a 96-well plate. TauLUM causes cell death in the adult Drosophila brain and responds to both pharmacological and genetic interventions. We find that transgenic expression of an anti-tau aggregation intrabody or pharmacological inhibition of HSP90 reduce tau multimerization and cell death in tauLUM flies, establishing the suitability of this system for future drug and genetic modifier screening. Overall, our studies position tauLUM as a powerful in vivo discovery platform that leverages the advantages of Drosophila to better understand tau multimerization. We thank our collaborators Dr. Sally Temple and Dr. David Butler for suggesting the use and guiding the design of the anti-tau aggregation intrabody. This project was fully funded by the Rainwater Foundation. Similar models for other aggregating proteins are currently in production!

Congrats to Simon on successful completion of his PhD and his new position with RQM+ in San Diego, CA.